March 16, 2016

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • Nicola Potatoes From our friends at Riverdog Farm. Nicola's firm dry flesh holds up well in salads and soups but also makes for perfect mashed potatoes.   

  • Cilantro - From our friends at Riverdog Farm. Chop and toss it in with your regular salad greens for a boost of flavor!

  • Kale- Check out this green peanut butter smoothie: Blend 1 banana, 1 cup nut milk, 1 cup torn kale, 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, and ½ cup ice in a blender until smooth.  Yum!

  • Chard - This vegetable is extremely perishable, so keep refrigerator storage time to a minimum. Store unwashed leaves in plastic bags in the crisper for 2 to 3 days. The stalks can be stored longer if separated from the leaves.

  • Siberian Kale - Stir fry those leaves and season with sesame oil, ginger, garlic, a splash of soy sauce and top with toasted sesame seeds.  Yum!

  • Leeks - The star of this week’s recipe!

  • Fennel - Whether you're grilling, poaching, or steaming, laying a few stalks and fronds alongside the fish will infuse the fish with sweet fennel-tastic flavor.

Egg Shares include eggs from our certified organic, pasture-raised, happy hens.

 

Vegetable Forecast

Asparagus!, Kale, Chard, Dandelion, Oranges, Marjoram

 

News

 

This “Miracle March” rain has been quite a storm for us.  We’ve received over 5 inches of rain in the past two weeks in the most consistent wet pattern we’ve seen in at least a few years.

It happened to coincide with a couple of teaching opportunities.  For the California Small Farm Conference, we hosted a Field Course tour looking at biodiversity and habitat on farms, as well as taught a class on agricultural leases and a basic pasture poultry primer.  Today, Wednesday, we’ll be leading a workshop for beginning farmers at Soil Born Farms and the Center for Land Based Learning on the topic of crop yield forecasting and some business basics.

We really enjoy working with other farmers to discuss some of the logistical challenges that come with a small diversified farm business.  And, we especially appreciate that it happen to come at a slow time in our fields so we can be present and attentive to the educational process.

You may have noticed the limited diversity of crops hanging on from our overwintered sets.  But we encourage you to hang on because our fields will start bursting with spring diversity and bounty again soon - sometime in the end of April.  In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and dedication to eating seasonally and locally from our small farm through our CSA.  

On a practical note, we are having a few issues getting our Farmigo software to match our changes to our CSA program.  We are working getting those issues fixed as fast as possible, and, finishing up other touches associated with the changes.  

Enjoy the sunshine this week!

 

 

Recipe

 

 

Leek, Potato, and Fennel Soup with Bacon  (Serves 4)

Imagine that, we get to use 3 ingredients from this week’s box in this awesome soup recipe!  Sweet and salty, velvety deliciousness awaits you. Be sure to read the recipe notes for great tips on making the soup vegetarian/vegan, as well as subbing yogurt or creme fraiche for the heavy cream.  Thank you to The Kitchn for the great idea!

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 leeks, tender white parts with a little green only, thinly sliced

  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 large potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and chopped into small dice

  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

  • 1/4 pound (4 strips) extra-thick bacon

  • Fresh chives, snipped, to garnish

 

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, fennel, and garlic along with a generous pinch of salt. Cook without browning — just until the vegetables soften.

 

Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the potatoes, and stir. Add the stock, and bring it up to a boil. Turn down the heat again, and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are all very soft.

Let the soup cool until no longer steaming, and then blend the soup using a hand or stand blender until it has a smooth, velvety consistency. Season generously with salt and pepper, and stir in the heavy cream (if using).

Cook the bacon in a wide skillet until crisp. Gently reheat the soup, without letting it boil. Ladle the soup into bowls, and crumble bacon and sprinkle over chives, to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe can be very easily adapted to be vegetarian or vegan. For vegetarian soup, use vegetable stock and skip the bacon. For vegan, use vegetable stock and skip the bacon and cream.

  • You can also cook the bacon first and then substitute bacon fat for the olive oil when cooking the vegetables.

  • I love using cream, as it adds a delicious velvety texture to the soup. You can skip the cream if you're watching the calories, or stir in a couple tablespoons of crème fraîche or Greek yogurt.

  • This soup can be frozen. If freezing, don't add any cream to it. Defrost, reheat, and then add cream, after which you can readjust the seasoning to your taste.


Pics of the Week:

'Blue Blossom' Ceanothus blooming in our first hedgerow.  This native is a beautiful refuge for natives and beneficials.